For the past four or so years I’ve owned a Windows Phone. Now that’s about to change because I’ve finally decided to join the majority and use an Android device as my day to day phone.
Since I dropped my (Windows) phone sometime in December and shattered the screen I’ve been thinking of which phone to buy. My heart said I should stick to Windows because, despite the many complains especially the lack of apps, I’ve become used to the operating system and the long battery life, something that Android phones struggle with.
But with time I’ve come to fully realise the limitations of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, now simply termed Windows 10 Mobile. The lack of apps is a case in point. Though I have long believed that there are more than enough apps on the Windows Store I’ve come to realise that I was wrong.
This realisation came last week when I decided to join a gym. The program I chose to use is one called StrongLifts 5×5 and it has a great accompanying app for Android and IOS. No official app exists for Windows Phone. There are other unofficial ones, of course, but compared to the official ones they are very poorly made and lack some of the most useful features.
This lack of official apps has been one of Windows major shortcomings. I couldn’t find a decent app either when I decided to start jogging using the couch to 5k plan. In certain cases, for instance, banking, using third party apps is not advisable.
Developers are not too keen to produce official applications for Windows mobile because, at less than 4% of the total market share, Windows Mobile powered devices are a tiny fraction that’s not worth their effort. Obviously it makes more sense for a developer to spend time on IOS and Android app development and maintenance since that’s where the bulk of their customers come from.
The important question is what Microsoft could have done- or can do to increase the number of Windows mobile devices. One such approach has been to produce low cost devices such as the Lumia 520 which proved to be very popular. With more people using the platform developers would have no option but to follow.
Windows 10 Mobile also aims to unify the PC and mobile devices and even the Xbox. This would perhaps boost Microsoft’s market share in the mobile phone OS race because most people in the developing world use Windows for their computers and it would integrate seamlessly with their other mobile devices. However such a time may be far away in the future, or may never come at all.
In the meantime I’m moving to Android, at least for my daily phone. I may get a Windows Phablet soon, but it’ll be for other purposes rather than daily, hourly use. I have tried to stand by Microsoft, against all common sense and reason, now the time has come to join the world of Google.